donderdag 29 januari 2009

Hon Shirabe Take 2

Some time ago, begin this month I recorded my first take on the Hon Shirabe honkyoku
Instructions to play this piece and more honkyoku can be found at: bamboo-in
First take, so to speak was on a the Yuu on a simple headset pc microphone. Now I've got me a second hand USB Samson CO3U large membrane mic. I recorded Hon Shirabe again with it and on a different flute: an aged and well seasoned Tozan Saikado flute (full of stable cracks), about 50 years of age, I bought from Perry Yung. Which offers an admirable service to make shakuhachi accessable to a broader public. Go check his site! (there are of course more makers who do so).
The flutes plays well in my beginners opinion; more easy than the Yuu overall, more even, nicer kan, nicer sound, nicer appeal overall... Its quite heavy, even more than the Yuu!
Here is the recording I just did:
Hon Shirabe Take 2
Can you hear the difference with the 1 jan recording?

dinsdag 27 januari 2009

Learning vs. new flute's and collecting

I don't consider myself a collector, but it didn't escape my notice, that my flute became flutes and now is a small collection. My enthousiasm has a great part in it. Momentarilly I have 4 flutes and I only play for a short while...Does that make sense? Probably not, learning -so I've read- can be done best on 'main flute'; learning the techniques, the notes, the breathing and all. But I've had so much fun playing different flutes! In that I feel its okay for me to 'collect' some interesting flutes and of course play them! Even if its detrimental to my learning progress in this time, I am willing to pay that price. I do not find many things so exciting as this flute. Taming that feeling is kinda hard perhaps. The fun is in the playing and in the learning, so it's only good that it takes a bit longer, no?
As I write this, maybe a 5th very special one -to me- will be added. A komosu edo period flute! If I get I'll post about it later and so I will do about the flutes I have currently, certainly with music (or sound) and maybe sometimes even video...
In the main time: enjoy playing.

donderdag 15 januari 2009

The secret of the shakuhachi

What is playing this flute about? What does make it so mysterious, so simple and yet so complex?
For me the playing the flute is the mystery. The flutes themselves can be so different and still be a shakuhachi, from a masterfull jiari to a quick made, but all natural jinashi... The learning of this flute can be seen as a joy -or frustration- in itself. One could try to reach goals, get really good, but it is just as sound to play your level, without need for that goal, to me this instrument is so non-goal like. Much unlike I have experienced with western instruments. This probalby has to do with the specific culture it originates from. But even in that there is no 'right' way, there are many ways, many visions. From the experimental to the very traditional. I love it! (from day one). The shakuhachi indeed found me, instead of the other way round and probably: there is no secret of the shakuhachi, the shakuhachi is the 'secret'.

donderdag 1 januari 2009

1 januari recording Hon Shirabe

Well happy new year!
I am now playing a short while on the Shakuhachi and enjoy it a lot! I even purchased new flutes as an addition and/ or replacement of my Yuu. Maybe a bit early, but I am happy to have two new flutes: a 2.4 (A) Yung Chikusen and a Chinese Madake Root (+/- G#) from Ken la Cosse (Mujitsu).
The yung is a semi-jinachi and the one from Ken a jinashi flute, with both very different playing and sound.
Another is comming a 50-jear old Seikado 1.8 also from Yung, so I am happy to have so many new flutes.
Now some sound: I recorded myself playing Hon Shirabe a Honkyoku piece I was and am studiing on. Feel free to listen and comment, for myself this blog and thus the recording is a nice way to record my progress and adventures with the shakuhachi-flute.
The link:
Hon Shirabe (on a Yuu)